swimming pool under water illustrative.
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Michael Danby, an Australian Labor Party member, condemned Malaysia's recently announced ban on Israeli swimmers from the Paralympic Qualifiers in Malaysia on Wednesday, calling Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad a ‘”Malay bigot.”
Danby called on Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to host the Paralympics swimmers in Australia instead.
“The IPC has no right awarding premium sporting events to Malaysia and other countries that discriminate against Israeli athletes,“ Mr Danby said. “Taking out your anti-Jewish bigotry on Paralympic athletes is pathetic."
“Blatant antisemitism and discrimination in sport, as in every field of life is despicable, and Malaysia has no right to be hosting such a premium event," Danby added. "I call on Scott Morrison to offer one of our excellent Australian sporting venues instead, where swimmers of all faiths and nationalities will be welcome to attend, without discrimination, including both Malaysians and Israelis.”
Mohamad, announced on January 10 that Malaysia would ban all Israelis from participating in the World Para Swimming Championships in July.
Malaysia, a majority-Muslim country, does not have diplomatic relations with Israel and does not allow travelers to enter the country on an Israeli passport.
Following Malaysia's statement, the International Paralympic Committee said it was “disappointed” that Malaysia would not allow Israelis to enter the Southeast Asia country for the World Championship event.
The IPC added that it will “find a solution” for the Israeli swimmers.
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